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Health and Safety in Construction (HSE guidance)

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Construction and building work is by its very nature a high-risk occupation. Persons involved in this sector have to work in arduous conditions, often exposed to the elements, in a constantly changing workplace, which is taking form and shape as a result of their activities.

  • Construction (Design and Management) Approved Code of Practice 2020

    • The Committee for Employment and Social Security approved the Construction (Design and Management) Approved Code of Practice, which comes into force on 2nd December 2020.
    • The Approved Code of Practice can be found pdf icon by following this link [1Mb].
  • Notification of Project

    • Follow this link to notify a construction project online.
    • You must notify all projects covered by the Approved Code of Practice.  The Principal Contractor is required to give the Health & Safety Executive 14 days' notice of all construction works on projects
    • a.     Where the number of persons working on site (whether it be employees, subcontractors or self- employed contractors) exceeds 5 and the duration of the contract is more than 30 days.
    • b.     If the work involves demolition or dismantling of a structure regardless of duration or numbers on site.
    • c.     Where work is of short duration but is expected to involve at least 500 man-days of input.
    • The form should be completed and sent to the HSE office covering the site where construction / demolition work is to take place.  You should send it as soon as possible after the safety co-ordinator is appointed to the project.
  • Construction Phase Plan

    • Under the Guernsey Construction (Design and Management) Approved Code of Practice 2020 a construction phase plan is required for every construction project. This does not need to be complicated. 
    • A simple Construction Phase Plan template can be found  pdf icon by following this link [215kb]
    • If you are working for a domestic client, you will be in control of the project if you are the only contractor or the principal contractor.
    • You will be responsible for:
      • preparing a plan
      • organising the work and
      • working together with others to ensure health and safety
    • You could be a builder, plumber or other tradesman, doing small-scale routine work such as:
      • installing a kitchen or bathroom
      • structural alterations, eg chimney breast removal
      • roofing work, including dormer windows
      • extension or loft conversion
      • A simple plan before the work starts is usually enough to show that you have thought about health and safety.
  • Passport to Safety, PAS91 and SSIP 

    • The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees is a requirement under the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance 1987. 
    • This does not mean that construction workers must be 'ticketed' to work in Guernsey.  Rather this is one way of demonstrating their competency to their employer.
    • Likewise, Supervisors do not have to hold 'tickets' but must be able to demonstrate that they are competent to do the job, either through experience or other qualification, and for their employer to be satisfied that they can undertake the role.
    • One of the fundamental principals set out in the Guernsey Construction (Design and Maintenance ACoP 2020 is 'Appointing the right organisations and people at the right time.'
    • There are various ways that you as a business can demonstrate that you have done this.  For example, 
    • PAS 91:2013 is a standardised pre-qualification questionnaire which has been developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI), in consultation with professional bodies and trade associations such as the National Federation of Builders (NFB), Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA), Specialist Engineering Contractors' Group (SEC) and Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) and aims to
      • Help dutyholders, and buyers, identify suitably qualified contractors
      • Increase consistency between various pre-qualification questionnaires and databases
      • Help suppliers understand what information is required from them at pre-qualification stage
      • PAS91 can be downloaded free from BSI knowledge centre (PAS91)
    • Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) is a mutual recognition scheme for occupational health and safety standards particularly within construction. SSIP facilitates mutual recognition between health and safety pre-qualification schemes saving time, effort and cost of multiple certifications by reducing duplication and demands on suppliers to have multiple certifications to different scheme
    • It should be noted that it is not a legal requirement for any business or individual to use the services of a third party to help them bid for work provided you can demonstrate that you have gone through the process above
  • Organisational Competence

    • When assessing organisational competence, you need to ask the following questions and be honest in your answers.
      • Does your organisation have the policies and procedures in place to set acceptable health and safety management standards which comply with the law? 
      • Does your organisation have the resources and people to ensure the standards are delivered and monitored?
    • Your answers to the above will depend on the complexity of the undertaking, the particular work being carried out,  and will also help you to determine if additional help is required to achieve compliance with the law. 
  • Management of Contractors

    • ​​It is not enough to appoint a contractor and simply let them get on with the job, or turn a blind eye to their behaviour while on your site.  The duty to ensure is a high standard, to be met by dutyholders, and requires that work is planned, managed, supervised and monitored; and health and safety risks are addressed as urgently as the risk requires. E.g. Scaffolders putting up scaffold without harnesses or other fall mitigation in place.
    • Periodic review of contractors work should be undertaken, and remedial action taken where necessary, throughout their time on site.  The frequency of such check will be dictated by the complexity of the work.
    • Contractors should be benchmarked against their risk assessment/method statement.  Are they doing it how they said they were going to do it?
    • Once the work has been finished a review should be carried out.  For example by asking:  
      • What went well?
      • What did not go so well?  
      • Did you follow our site procedures? E.g by signing in and out of site. 
      • Did you follow your own stated method of work and communicate changes with us? 
  • Protecting the public

    • As well as protecting your employees, you  must ensure that construction work does not put other people at risk, including other contractors, neighbouring businesses and the public.
    • All construction sites require:
    • While the numbers of children being killed or injured on construction sites has reduced, there is no room for complacency. Each year in the UK, two or three children die after gaining access to building sites, and many more are injured.
    • Other members of the public are seriously injured by:
      • Materials or tools falling outside the site boundary.
      • Falling into trenches; or
      • Being struck by moving plant and vehicles.
  • Scaffolding

    • Scaffolding erected over, or along, the highway, on the pavement or in a public place (e.g. public car park) require a permit and may also require a traffic management permit from Traffic and Highways.
    • It is your responsibility to ascertain whether a permit is required and to apply at least 7 days in advance of the start of scaffolding operations. .
  • Site security, fencing and hoarding

    • You must prevent unauthorised access to your site while construction operations are taking place and out of hours. 
    • You can take advantage of existing structures, boundaries and walls, use mesh-type fencing, or a suitably designed and constructing temporary hoarding. 
    • pdf icon Hoarding Application Form [216kb]


F10 Notification of Construction Project (printable for manual completion) Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance 1987 as amended - version 7 September 2020 Guernsey Construction (Design and Management) - Approved Code of Practice 2020 The Organisation and Management of Health & Safety in Construction [Expired 01 December 2020] 5 Steps to Risk Assessment Protecting the public during construction work Scaffold Application Guidance Scaffold Application Form Scaffold Handover Certificate Scaffold Inspection Record Construction Phase Plan Template

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